Half Papadum and the mind

It was a regular day at Isha yoga centre. 5:30am Guru Pooja and then hatha yoga practices. While doing yogasanas I felt this craving for something crunchy, something like papadum. I smiled in my asana and again shifted my focus on my breath. When the morning session got over, we all headed towards the brunch and I saw this big utensil which generally comes when there is a papadum in the menu. My eyes sparkled. I was in the brunch line, excited and explaining myself that I know its fried but today I have this craving so be it. I came across the papadum counter and with all gratitude received my papadum. While I was finding a place for myself to sit, I saw my overseas friend who saw papadum in my plate and asked can we get one more of these. I said, you could ask but generally no. And instantly I just took half of my papadum and gave it to her. She said, no its okay, you have it and it is actually fine. But I insisted that she take it. 

As soon as I turned to my plate, my mind which was craving for it for hours started saying all these things.

oh you wanted it so bad, why did you.. she even didn’t ask for it’.

‘This half papadum won’t suffice your craving’ 

And then there is another chain of criticising thoughts.

‘Your whole act was in vain because you gave it, with your mind not totally into it, maybe your intensions were not good’.

‘Neither you are happy now and she has this wrong good image of you which you are not’

But that day I could see all these thoughts with so much distance. May be my love for my friend brought this distance. I have experienced some distance time to time but this was so clear. I was so much in ease, and I knew what my mind says is not me. I have a choice. Its like i have control over my patterns, my ego, my cravings and I know what to do and could do it without friction.

I felt peace. I felt powerful. I felt free.

The whole day I had a certain maturity and control over myself. Wherever I want to focus I could and with the clarity, I felt superhuman. But yes I knew this doesn’t sustain. And it didn’t.

We all have suffered our mind shortcomings. The contradicting thoughts, the uncontrollable future planning, the compulsive problem solving, the ingrained patterns controlling us and so on. We could shrug them by saying this is ‘who I am’ or this is ‘normal’. But knowing how to use your mind effectively can bring so much joy in life. So here are the things that I do to keep it all sorted

Yoga: It is no denying fact that yoga calms you. But it also brings a certain distance from your mind leading to clarity. Yoga is not about bending or twisting the body. It is the way of being. When I do my asanas, I could instantly see the difference in my mental condition before and after practice.

Journaling: I can’t retain that distance all the time. I need to sort my mind to see why it is troubled. Rather than getting lost in my head and repeating the same thoughts again and again, journaling gives me the focus to see those thoughts in a more structured way. It also helps me to identify my ingrained patterns. The work of Byron Katie has really helped me in resolving a lot of troubling patterns in a very simple way. It was like guided journaling for me.

Affirmation: Sometimes I know my pattern, I logically understand the fault in them but then later I forget about that. Affirming the right pattern every day really helps me to change it.For example: Pattern : ‘I am not doing enough’. Affirmation : ‘I always do my best’.This doesn’t mean you just say the sentences again and again, which only makes the affirmations meaningless after a while. Whenever you affirm anything, bring back that pattern into your consciousness and then affirm it, knowing it is a reality.

Being with nature (Bhakti yoga): Often when I take on some work, I become too obsessed about that and start stressing out like if this doesn’t happen then something wrong will happen. Being with nature for just 5 to 10 mins. Just being with one thing like a leaf and observing it. Seeing how much intelligence and precision nature has given to even one leaf. I feel I am just a small part of this whole universe. It calms my mind and brings back the perspective that I am just a lil speck in this vast universe.

These are the few things that helped me out! Let me know what helped you to sort your mind or if you have the same experience.

With Love